Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Nikki S. Lee - Now in Motion Pictures

Anyone know when is the next opening for Nikki Lee? It seems like everything I find her name New York Magazine or online, it's too late. She a awesome artist because I can relate to her style of work.


Now in Moving Pictures: The Multitudes of Nikki S. Lee
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Published: October 1, 2006
EVEN after a long face-to-face conversation, it’s hard to say for certain what Nikki S. Lee is really like. That’s partly because this South Korean-born artist has always trafficked in her unnerving talent for assuming different identities.

A Scene From 'A K A Nikki S. Lee'
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For “Projects,” a series of photographs that won her notoriety soon after they were first shown in group shows and art fairs in 1998, Ms. Lee transformed herself through a blend of clothes, makeup, diets, hair extensions, tanning salons, colored contact lenses, dance lessons and sheer grit to infiltrate wildly different milieus — tourists, yuppies, strippers, rappers, schoolgirls and retirees, among others — and posed for casual snapshots with her new acquaintances.

For her “Parts” series (2002-4), she had herself photographed with one different man after another who was later sliced off the picture, leaving only a trace of his presence, like an arm or foot. While this put the focus squarely on Ms. Lee, it also implied that her identity mutated with each romantic entanglement.

As a result, said Ms. Lee, 35, who speaks English somewhat haltingly and with a heavy Korean accent, “When people meet me the first time, they are like, ‘Oh, you are different than I thought.’ ”

In her latest project, an hourlong film that is to be shown this week at the Museum of Modern Art, she makes ample use of that confusion.

Titled “A K A Nikki S. Lee,” the film purports to be a documentary about the real Nikki, a rather plain, serious young woman who is in turn making her own documentary about her alter ego, Nikki Two, the effervescent exhibitionist who appears in the photographs. Yet as the true Ms. Lee explained in an interview in her East Village apartment, “Nikki One is supposed to be real Nikki, and Nikki Two is supposed to be fake Nikki. But they are both fake Nikki.”

The movie opens as Nikki One is being interviewed in a book-lined studio. “In this documentary,” she says solemnly, “I create Nikki Lee based on what people think her character is.” The scene then switches to the more fashion-conscious Nikki Two, lounging in a Venetian water taxi on her way to stay with wealthy collectors and visit the Venice Film Festival. She is soon seen shopping at Missoni, hobnobbing with movie folk (most notably Jeremy Irons) at a reception at the Peggy Guggenheim Collection on the Grand Canal and padding around the collectors’ apartment in her nightgown, wearing an eyeshade that reads “Princess.”

To make the film, which she began working on in early 2005, Ms. Lee frequently traveled with one of two cameramen who were assigned to document her “real” life. Most of the events did in fact take place — a trip to South Korea to act in a movie called “The Girl Who Has Many Selves” (her bit part was edited out); a stay in Paris, where she staged and modeled for a fashion shoot for The New York Times; and a noisy afternoon with a big Jewish family on Long Island, where she plays with a bevy of babies and tries on over-the-top wedding dresses, one of which she uses later in the film.

Other scenes, however, are pure fabrication, most notably those that present Nikki One in her book-lined studio, a fake set that Ms. Lee constructed in a rented Williamsburg loft with leased furniture and borrowed books. Here Nikki One earnestly explains the direction of her faux documentary to an unseen interviewer and discusses her work with two visitors: RoseLee Goldberg, the performance art curator, and Leslie Tonkonow, Ms. Lee’s real-life dealer who discovered her in art school.

Ms. Lee also played fast and loose with the dates, just as she did with the camera date-stamps on her “Projects” photos.

In making the film, “I kind of followed real events,” Ms. Lee said in the interview for this article. “But I kind of arrange them.” For instance, she asked the collectors, Tony and Heather Podesta, if she could stay with them in Venice; she also set up the film’s final scene: a long, almost mystical tracking shot in which, seen only from the back, she marches determinedly down a pier at Manhattan’s annual Armory Show on the Hudson to the music of Philip Glass and drops off an envelope at Ms. Tonkonow’s booth.

No intervention was needed for the film’s most disastrous event, when Ms. Lee arrived at a Frankfurt gallery for her first German solo show only to find that her “Parts” photographs had been ruined by the framer. (He had decided to tidy them up by trimming off their borders.)

On screen Nikki One is seen wailing, “This is not my work,” and then trudging miserably around the city. The show’s pre-opening dinner unfolds as it actually did, with a slide projection instead of real artwork. Yet Ms. Lee sounded perky as she recalled these setbacks. “It was awful for the opening,” she said, “but really good for the film.”

Friends and acquaintances who took part in her faux documentary were sometimes told what to say but were also encouraged to be natural, Ms. Lee said. She said she tended to follow the other person’s lead in each scene, “but of course I act.” During the Frankfurt sequence, for example, she eventually took the gallery’s owner, Anita Beckers, into another room and explained off camera that her morose mood was feigned.

Ms. Beckers, who still represents her in Germany, recalls the situation fondly. “We had so much fun together,” she said. “I think for Nikki it was the best part of the film.”

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

T.F. Chen " Art for Humanity"

October 19th, 2006 at 250 Lafayette Street - I visited T.F. Chen Cultural Center for their "Art for Humanity". It was a small opening for Art enthusiasts as myself to enjoy a new style of art. I was welcomed by the two hosts, Ted and president, Lucia at the front door. I was welcome with wines and snacks.

"Art for Humanity" promotes peace, cultural harmony and youth uplifting. T.F. Chen tries to strive for peace through his work of Art. His work convey direct messages to open our eyes to the viewers. His Van Gogh, "Do not smoke" is a good example to tell people to stop smoking and make a goodness in the future. With his five dimensional style of East, West, Past, Present and symbols; his innovated style of Art, which has created him a great artisit.

Working as an intern, he was always a great inspiration for me to strive for greatness. I tried to learn to become a good artist by understanding other influential artists.

I hope for the best for T.F. Chen and his team.

Description below:

Please RSVP at and come to our opening reception on Oct 12 6-8pm., at 250 Lafayette St . If you can not come to our Opening Reception, please visit us at a time convenient for you from October 11,12,13,14,and 17th at One East 42nd Street and from October 13th till December 10th at T. F. Chen Cultural Center .

Allow me to briefly introduce us to you. We have been engaged in art & cultural activities, business in Europe, America and Asia for over 30 years.

A: T. F. Chen Cultural Center is a 501C3 non-profit organization aiming to promote Dr. Chen¡Çs vision of a Global New Renaissance in Love, and East-West cultural exchange. Dr. Chen is a designated ¡ÈCultural Ambassador of Tolerance and Peace¡É and ¡ÈUnited Nations Global Tolerance Award 2001¡É recipient. We are organizing an ¡ÈArts For Humanity World Tour in partnership with the ¡ÈFriends of the United Nations to advance art education and a global cultural of peace through arts¡É and bearing the positive message of the UN over the next decade. Dr. Chen is graciously donating the proceeds, from sales of his artwork, to fund the $3.5 million dollars projected budget needed to tour 40 cities in 15 countries over 10 years. (*Please see our TV ad which is airing from Oct 9th-22nd on CNN, MSBNC, etc 600 times in major cities around the world or see it on our website at:

B: The New World Art Center focuses on international art business (Primarily of Chen), including the following aspects:

The planning, exhibition, promotion and marketing of artworks
The publication and distribution of limited edition prints
Licensing, accord of copyright, and marketing of art gift items
Consultation on art investment and collection planning.

Enjoy &

Sunday, August 06, 2006


Cai Guo-Qiang on the Roof: First solo Met exhibition by a contemporary Chinese artist

Naomi Takafuchi & Elyse Topalian

Cai Guo-Qiang, the acclaimed Chinese-born artist known internationally for his elaborate sculpture installations and gunpowder projects, has created a site-specific exhibition for the 2006 season of The Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Roof Garden at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. The four works comprising Cai Guo-Qiang on the Roof: Transparent Monument were inspired by the dramatic setting of the Roof Garden, an open-air space atop the Lila Acheson Wallace Wing that offers spectacular views of Central Park and the Manhattan skyline, and by the artist’s reactions to issues of present-day concern.

“Cai is, without doubt, one of the most inventive artists working today in New York and indeed internationally, and this exhibition will mark many ‘firsts’ for the Metropolitan,” commented Gary Tinterow, who is Engelhard Curator in Charge of the Museum’s Department of Nineteenth-Century, Modern, and Contemporary Art, and who invited Mr. Cai to create the installation. “Cai Guo-Qiang on the Roof will be the first solo exhibition by a contemporary Chinese artist to be held at the Metropolitan. His method of combining traditional Chinese motifs and materials to comment on contemporary life makes his work particularly relevant in the context of an encyclopedic museum, and especially moving to anyone who has been touched by the September 11, 2001, attack on New York.”

Works on view will include the 15-feet-tall glass Transparent Monument, at the base of which lie replicas of dead birds. “Like a transparent sculpture or canvas,” says Cai, “the glass encases the city and park, fusing them with the work as one, and bringing out the relationship between the city, or civilization, and park, or nature.” A second sculpture, Nontransparent Monument, the antithesis of Transparent Monument, is a multi-part narrative relief sculpture in stone replete with vignettes depicting life after September 11, 2001, that range in subject from the tragic to the humorous. The installation will also feature Move Along, Nothing to See Here, a pair of life-sized replicas of crocodiles, cast in resin and pierced with several thousand sharp objects confiscated at airport-security checkpoints, that will loom over the Roof Garden space.

Finally, an ephemeral sculpture titled Clear Sky Black Cloud will consist of an actual black cloud appearing above the Roof Garden at noon on Tuesday through Sunday of each week, bursting like an inkblot in the sky and then dissipating slowly in the air. This recurring work, made from miniature black-smoke shells, will set a new and symbolic clock for New York City for the duration of the exhibition.

Born in 1957 – the son of a historian and landscape painter in Quanzhou City, Fujian Province – Cai Guo-Qiang (pronounced sigh gwo chang) developed a desire to become an artist at an early age. As a teenager, he was absorbed in the martial arts and even acted in some kung-fu movies. Educated in the traditions of Western art, Cai first encountered Western contemporary art as China entered an era of intense social change. Not able to find a school offering classes in contemporary art, he studied stage design from 1981 to 1985 at the Shanghai Drama Institute. He also experimented with gunpowder to foster spontaneity and to confront the suppression that he felt from his controlled artistic and social climate. At the end of 1986, when he moved to Japan, he began to explore the properties of gunpowder in his drawings, an inquiry that led to experimentation with explosives on a massive scale, and the development of explosion events, exemplified in his renowned series Projects for Extraterrestrials.

Cai achieved international prominence while living in Japan, and his works began to be shown widely around the world. His approach draws on a wide variety of symbols, narratives, traditions, and materials, such as astrophysics, feng shui, Chinese medicine, dragons, roller coasters, computers, vending machines, and gunpowder. Among his many awards to date is the Golden Lion Prize of the 48th Venice Biennale International. Cai moved from Japan to the United States in 1995, and now lives in New York with his family.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

P.S. 1 - Su-Mei Tse

P.S. 1
22-25 Jackson Ave

I went to P.S. 1 search for new Art ideas for my butterfly project. The gates opened at 12 pm. Three floors of artworks: Bruce Nauman, Andrea Fraser, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Patty Chan, Thomas Hirschhorn, Marina Abramovc, Gregory Crewdon, Shigeko Kubato, Milton Rosa-Ortiz, Frank Moore, Ana Mendienta, Mike Kelly, Chen Zhen, Kalup Linzy, ReginaJose Galindo, Dessin Jabuv and more.

I went to see Su-Mei Tse's works. P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center is pleased to present Su-Mei Tse's first solo museum exhibition in New York. Ms. Tse, an artist based in Luxembourg and Paris, will present two new works—a video and a sculptural installation. Su-Mei Tse is on view in the Third Floor Archive galleries from June 25
through September 4, 2006.

Her installation piece Dong, Xi, Nan, Bei (E, W, S, N) (2006) merges text and the visual arts. Self-illuminating neon
sculptures suspended from the ceiling depict the Chinese characters for the four cardinal directions. At once literal and abstract, the work investigates language, place, and geography.

Her British and Chinese background has reflected on her point of views on cultural and personal role. A classically trained cellist, Tse creates work that investigates music, rhythm, melody, and dance. Informed by personal experience—her father is a Chinese violinist and mother an English pianist—Tse's art, which encompasses photography, sculpture, and video, combines the artistic and cultural traditions of both her parents.

As for me, I'm fascinated with comtemporary Asian Art. Se-Mei Tse created the installation to promote the relationship of East meet West. Modern object of a neon light has been a popular thing in US such as New York City, where businesses depend on neon lights to lure customers. As for Don Xi Nan Bei, it conveys us to understand the directional way of life; seek the road that is less taken (right, Robert Frost).

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Takashi Murakami

Takashi Murakami

The AI Interview: Takashi Murakami

by Magdalene Perez

NEW YORK, June 9, 2006—Takashi Murakami has been shaking up the art world since the early 1990s with his unconventional approach to both subject matter and artistic production.

The Japanese artist and curator first made an appearance on the global art scene with his controversial Randoseru Project, for which he constructed backpacks, of the sort typically used by Japanese schoolchildren, from the skins of endangered or exotic animals.

In the mid-’90s he provoked patrons of high- and low-brow art alike by creating life-size sculptures of ultra-sexual, anime-inspired characters.

Most recently his work has blurred traditional lines between fine art and the mass-produced object by pairing his signature, cartoon-like designs with a limited-edition series of Louis Vuitton handbags.

Never content to play the traditional role of the solitary artist, Murakami has moved into even broader areas of the art world, seeking out new talent among young Japanese artists and becoming a curator for shows at the Museum of Contemporary Art-Los Angeles and the Japan Society in New York.

For creating his own art, he has developed a unique factory-style production line in studios in Tokyo and in New York—that involves dozens of artists and assistants and runs like a well-oiled machine.

Working to promote those artists who have helped him build his KaiKai Kiki studio, Murakami established the semi-annual Geisai art fair in Tokyo in 2000. Now on the brink of the fair’s 10th edition, Murakami has announced a special sneak preview of the next Gesai fair at the Volta art fair that opens in Basel next week.

Some complain that the current art market has become too commercialized. As a market-savvy artist, what’s your perspective?

It’s always funny when people say this, because it sounds like they don’t understand what a “market” is. Isn’t it a place to buy and sell? Personally, I think that the more commercialized the art market, the easier it is to understand strategically. I do appreciate all different kinds of art, though; just like I appreciate all different kinds of people. There are some people who compete in the commercial arena and there are some who abide by more personal, spiritual or idealistic guidelines. If done well, both can be equally satisfying.

You’ve done work with Louis Vuitton and others that straddles the line between art and commercial products. Do you think there are dangers to mixing art with branding and merchandizing?

I don’t think of it as straddling. I think of it as changing the line. What I’ve been talking about for years is how in Japan, that line is less defined. Both by the culture and by the past-War economic situation. Japanese people accept that art and commerce will be blended; and in fact, they are surprised by the rigid and pretentious Western hierarchy of “high art.” In the West, it certainly is dangerous to blend the two because people will throw all sorts of stones. But that’s okay—I’m ready with my hard hat.

Your work has a decidedly cartoon-like or anime-inspired aesthetic that is also quite common in other Japanese artists’ work. Why do you think there is this fixation among contemporary Japanese artists on the “cute”? Can you explain this sometimes creepy fascination among many young Japanese artists (i.e. Aya Takano, Mahomi Kunikata) with images that depict prepubescent girls in sexualized situations?

Anime is a big industry in Japan and is extremely widely and evenly broadcast, so that the majority of people grow up watching the same TV shows. You could go so far as to say that anime is part of Japan’s national consciousness.

The cute obsession is a complicated problem, but I think that it’s a pleasant and not-so-intimidating aesthetic ideal, so that is why it’s very popular. It’s good for people who are introverted, which many Japanese are. Cute is so fetishized in Japan that it’s actually also sexualized. It’s just like how Americans have a fetish with steroid body builders and breast implants. Personally, I think that’s creepy.

Tell me about how and why you developed the idea to create your own “factory-style” studio.

I was originally inspired by the Walt Disney Studio, Lucas Films and [Hayao] Miyazaki’s Ghibli Studio. I was interested in this kind of hands-on, workshop-style production space that even major film companies use.

Also, it might be a Japanese characteristic, but I’m not a solitary person. I like the dynamics of a group working together towards a single goal. The eclectic mash of individual egos, brains and wills leading to harmony and discord is an exciting force to work with, and it helps me be creative.

What’s your relationship with the artists in your studio? In addition to collaborating with you on your work, do they produce their own? How much inspiration do you receive from them? How much teaching/mentoring of them do you engage in?

The relationship is one of mutual inspiration. The artists in my studio help me work on my work, and I help them work on theirs. The extent of feedback that I give depends on the situation. Specifically, Kaikai Kiki represents the work of six exhibiting artists besides myself. These artists are all actively involved in their own work, although three of them are also regular employees of the company, which means they also have management positions.

Why do you do so much work promoting emerging Japanese artists—and as an experienced artist, what do you feel it’s important to teach them?

I like the gambling aspect of working with young artists. With the right combination of talent and guidance, you can really hit the jackpot. I would say that my biggest concern for young artists is their lack of know-how, and how that leads to them being taken advantage of by institutions and the merciless gears of the art-world machine. It is important for artists to know the facts about the market, the system, and to approach the business aspect with a clear-headed, confident attitude.

What prompted you to launch the the Geisai art fair in Tokyo? What niche does it fill on the Japanese fair calendar?

I wanted to increase awareness of art among everyday Japanese people. By making it a fun event—that everyone, regardless of funds, can enjoy—I hoped to turn a variety of people on to art. I also like that it is open-participation. This gives it a more egalitarian feeling than Western art fairs, which are really exclusive and oriented to the high-end consumer. Geisai has been a huge success. Every time, 10,000 people come to the site, and we are getting more coverage in international publications.

©2006 Rei Sato/Kaikai Kiki Co., Ltd. All Rights Reserved (2)

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Phyllis Bramson at Claire Oliver

My favorite from Phyllis Bramson's collection

Diamond's light of an evening dream
82X60, 2002

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Photoshop TV Guys

Photoshop TV guys rock!!!

(l to r) Matt Kloskowski (Rockin-the-House-Ski), Scott Kelby(president) and Dave Cross (true Canadian)

They helped me through my bad times. Thanks

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Whitnery's 2006 Binnenial

May 7th, Vince and I went to Whitney Museum on a sunny day. Location is at 945 Madison Avenue at 75th Street, New York, 10021. A ticket costs 15 dollars - it worth the money.

Four floors of new artists' works display at Whitney Museum. The museum was semi crowded but I managed to find the works I wanted to see.

My favorite artists that I thought was interested:

Marilyn Minter, Strut, 2005 and Stuffed, 2003
She shows close up pictorial image of female's faces and body parts. It shows intrique details of a female with heavy makeup and a sweats on a female's stilleto. It has a exotic and sensual prespective.

Angel Strassheim, Father and son, 2004.
A family tradition passed down from father to son.

Kenneth Anger, Mouse Heaven, 2005
A 10 minute film of Disney icons of Mickey Mouse and the rest of his friends. It wasn't any exotic form but the classic clips. The Disneyana would often rotate or move in whatever way it was designed to (blinking eyes, dancing, etc.) There was a lot of layering and simple video tricks. It ended with some shiny metallic Mickeys which seemed to evoke Jeff Koons.

Kenneth's fascination of Mickey Mouse shows an adolescence ego he possessed.